WTW: Yomif Kejelcha Goes Fast Like Mo Farah, Emmanuel Korir Joins a Special Club, Nick Willis Extends Streak, Ben Flanagan Wins Falmouth

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The Week That Was in Running – August 13 – 19, 2018

By LetsRun.com
August 21, 2018

Past editions of The Week That Was can be found here. Questions, comments, or a tip? Please call us at 844-LETSRUN (538-7786), email us or post on our forum.

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Performance of the Week / Yomif Kejelcha Runs 7:28.00

Last week, the Nike Oregon Project’s Yomif Kejelcha rocked a 3000 in Sweden as he ran 7:28.00 at the Götebog Grand Prix. That’s the fastest 3000 in the world since Ethiopia’s Yenew Alamirew ran 7:27.26 in Doha in May of 2011.

Take a look at the race video below. It’s a thing of beauty to watch a guy solo a 7:28.00 (he had a rabbit for 1700 meters), winning by 14.12 seconds in windy conditions, particularly when you’ve got some cool music playing the background. The most impressive thing of all was probably the 54.94 last lap run all alone.

Now, we know what some of you are thinking, “Man, Kejelcha just joined the NOP and he’s already doing something that Mo Farah never did – do the work and go after a fast time.”

That may be your perception but it’s not true. While Kejelcha’s 7:28.00 is indeed the fastest 3000 in more than 7 years, people need to remember that Mo Farah ran an 8:03.40 2-mile indoor world record in Birmingham in 2015 and 8:03.40 converts to 7:27.51 for 3000.

And in Farah’s 2-mile world record, he did more of the work himself as he took the lead at around the 4:35 mark whereas Kejelcha took it at the 4:25 mark, but Kejelcha’s race was more than 200 meters shorter. Counterbalancing that fact is that it might be a little easier to run alone indoors for Farah as there was no wind, he was getting splits every 200 and was being roared on by a big crowd. All together, though, it’s fair to say the feats are very similar.

Second place in the race in 7:42.12 was Berihu Aregawi of Ethiopia — the 17-year-old who was third in the World Junior 10,000 in 27:48.41. Some on the messageboard are wondering if Berihu is the younger brother of 2013 world 1500 champ Abeba Aregawi (if you know, please email us). Speaking of Abeba Aregawi, we read an article in the Swedish press earlier this year saying she’s enjoying being a mom and has no desire to make a comeback to the sport and that if she did ever come back it would be in the marathon, not the 1500.

More: MB: Kejelcha 7:28.00 in Sweden
LRC Archives: Mo Farah Runs 8:03.40 2-Mile WR

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A World Record Was Broken Last Weekend

Australia’s Sinead Diver, 41, broke Deena Kastor‘s world masters (40+) half marathon world record of 69:37 by running 69:20 to win the Australian Half Marathon Championships in Queensland. Coming into the year, Diver, who has a 2:31:37 marathon pb from last year’s Nagoya Marathon, had a half marathon pb of just 73:19. But she’s set three half marathon pbs this year as she ran 71:40 at the World Half in March (23rd place) and then 69:53 on July 1 at Gold Coast (2nd place).

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Stat of the Week I / A Sub-1:43 is Fairly Rare, So We Hope You Are Enjoying Them

Embed from Getty Images

Sub-1:43 clockings don’t happen all that much. So far in world history, it’s happened less than 100 times — 98 according to Alltime-athletics.com. We provide some more context as to how rare a sub-1:43 showing is.

38 – number of men have broken 1:43.00 in the 800 ever.

18 – number of men who have broken 1:43.00 more than once in their life.

8 – number of men who have broken 1:43.00 at least twice in a single year now that former UTEP star Emmanuel Korir has done it. Last week, Korir ran 1:42.79 for the win at the Müller Grand Prix Birmingham after previously running 1:42.05 in London.

The 8 Men Who Have Broken 1:42 More Than Once In A Year
1. André Bucher – SUI – Bucher broke 1:43 twice in 2001.
2. Joaquim Cruz – BRA – Cruz broke 1:43 three times each in 1984 and 1985.
3. Japheth Kimutai – KEN – He broke 1:43 twice in both 1998 and 1999.
4. Wilson Kipketer – KEN – Kipkter broke 1:43 twice in 1995 and 2002, three times in 1999, 7 times in both 1996 and 1997.
5. Emmanuel Korir – KEN – Twice in 2018.
6. Taoufik Makhloufi – ALG – Makhloufi broke 1:43 twice in 2016.
7. Vebjørn Rodal – NOR – Twice in 1996.
8. David Rudisha – KEN – Rudisha accomplished the feat in 3 different years as Rudisha broke 1:43 5 times in 2010 and 2012 and 3 times in 2011.

Most Career Sub-1:43 800s
1. Wilson Kipketer – 21
2. David Rudisha – 16
3. Joaquim Cruz – 6
4. André Bucher -4
4. Japheth Kimutai – 4
4. Johnny Gray – 4
4. Nijel Amos – 4
8. Wilfred Bungei – 3
8. Mohammed Aman – 3
10. Emmanuel Korir -2
10. Vebjørn Rodal – 2
10. Abubaker Kaki Khamis – 2
10. Hezekiél Sepeng – 2
10. Mbulaeni Mulaudzi -2
10. Patrick Ndururi -2
10. Sebastian Coe – 2
10. Taoufik Makhloufi -2
10. Yuriy Borzakovskiy -2

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Stat of the Week II / If Only This Was True In The USA

70.4% – percent of TVs that were on in Norway that were tuned to the European Athletics Championships when Jakob and Henrik Ingebrigtsen won gold and silver in the 5000. The meet was broadcast on state-run NRK, as many top sporting events are. One messageboard poster writes that it “is actually a law in Norway that states that events classified as having ‘large social significance’ must be broadcasted for free.”

MB: 70% of Norwegians watching tv tuned in to Jakob Ingebrigtsen winning gold

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Stat of the Week III/ Sub-4 Mile Streaks

16 – number of years in a row that Kiwi Nick Willis has broken 4:00 in the mile according to messageboard poster “Cottonshirt.”

Willis has the longest streak in the world currently by a long shot — Aussie Ryan Gregson is next longest at 10 years in a row. For Americans, apparently Jack Bolas has the longest streak at 8 but he hasn’t raced all year so that likely will end and Matthew Centrowitz will take over as he’s at 7 counting this year.

While Willis is the king of the current milers for sub-4 streaks, he’s got a ways to go to catch his compatriot who leads the all-time list as John Walker went sub-4:00 18 years in a row from 1973 to 1990.

The World’s Double Digit Sub-4 Mile Streaks According To “Cottonshirt”

1. John Walker NZL 18 years (1973 – 1990)
2. Steve Scott USA 17 years (1977 – 1993)
3. Steve Cram GBR 16 years (1978 – 1993)
3. Marcus O’Sullivan IRL 16 years (1983 – 1998)
3. Nick Willis NZL 16 years (2003 – 2018)
6. Ray Flynn IRL 14 years (1977 – 1990)
7. José Luis González ESP 14 years (1979 – 1992)
7. Jim Spivey USA 14 years (1980 – 1993)
7. Bernard Lagat KEN/USA 14 years (1999 – 2012)
10. Wilson Waigwa KEN 12 years (1974 – 1985)
10. Kevin Sullivan CAN 12 years (1998 – 2009)
11. Thomas Wessinghage FRG 11 years (1975 – 1985)
11.John Mayock GBR 11 years (1993 – 2003)
11. Laban Rotich KEN 11 years (1996 – 2006)
11. David Torrence PER 11 years (2007 – 2017)

More: MB: How many years in a row has Nick Willis gone sub 4?

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Putting Ben Flanagan’s Win At Falmouth in Perspective

Ben Flanagan With an Incredible Celebration

Ben Flanagan With an Incredible Celebration

NCAA 10,000 champ Ben Flanagan was the first North American athlete to win the men’s race at Falmouth in 30 years — since Mark Curp in 1988 — and he rightfully has received a lot of attention.

What’s not been reported is that the race was likely to have a non-African winner as hardly any African runners showed up in the men’s race. In the men’s top 10, Kenya’s Stephen Sambu, who had won the last 4 years, was the only African in the top 10 (he was 4th). Additionally, Flanagan’s winning time of 32:21 was the slowest since 2001.

That being said, we know many people enjoyed seeing Flanagan win – including Flanagan himself. Check out how he celebrated his win.

MB: Ben Flanagan wins Falmouth

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Pikes Peak Marathon Course Record Falls

37 – number of years that the Pikes Peak Marathon course record had belonged to Lynn Bjorklund. Bjorklund, who held the US high school 3000 record of from 1975 until 2013 when Mary Cain broke it and was 7th at world cross in 1976ran 4:15:18 at Pike’s Peak way back in 1981. That was broken last week as 38-year-old Megan Kimmel picked up $6,000 (including a $4,000 course record bonus) by running 4:15:04 on the course that starts at 1918m and climbs to 4299m mid-race.

There was no course record in the men’s race at Pikes Peak but the winner Dakota Jones impressed us big-time by what he did before the race. The Colorado Springs Gazette reports that Jones biked “250 miles over four days” from his hometown of Durango, Colorado, to the race Manitou Springs, Colorado, as part of a fundraiser for Protect our Winters, a non-profit climate advocacy group. Then he went out and won the race in 3:32:19 before biking home later in the week. And he might have biked more than 250 miles as google maps shows it’s more than 300 miles from Durango to Manitou Springs.

The Pikes Peak Ascent race, which is held the day before the marathon, was severely shortened — basically cut in half this year — out of fear of severe storms. Azerya Tekay Weldemariam (66:28) and Kim Dobson (75:51) were the winners of the 10.5 km race, which featured a 1191m altitude gain.

More: Ridgway runner Megan Kimmel has record day at Pikes Peak Marathon
*Eagle’s Kim Dobson again wins women’s Ascent in return to Pikes Peak
*Non LRC messageboard discussion as to whether the Pikes Peak Ascent should have been shortened
LRC Archives: 2013: Mary Cain Runs 9:02.10 For 3,000 – Arguably The Greatest Distance Performance In High School History

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Quote of the Week (that wasn’t quote of the day)

“They (groups) have reached out to us and we have talked with the athletic department about outside usage, but at this point we want to protect the investment CSU has made in the facility. It’s disappointing not to be able to have it open to the public, but times have changed.’’

 Brian Bedard, Colorado State University’s head track coach, explaining to The Coloradoan why the public can no longer use the CSU track which just underwent a $2.4 million renovation. Bedard then explained that homeless people were sleeping at night under the stands of the old track, that lane one was worn down and it was often hard for team members to work out as members of the public were in the way. We have two thoughts on this.

  1. We know tracks are expensive but we still think the public should be allowed to use them. If you want to charge a fee like they do in the UK, go ahead.
  2. If you are worried about the homeless, lock the track at night. If you are worried about lane one being worn down, put up a big sign telling the public what lane to use and also put up a big sign saying that if a CSU team member is working out, they have the right of way (and obviously close the track for 3-4 hours a day when there is the official team practice, but sometimes individuals need to workout at different times due to conflicts).

More: CSU’s renovated track to reopen, but public no longer allowed on popular facility

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Recommended Reads

LRC Travel Woes, A Finish-Line Fall, & A Full-Time Job: How Charlie Marquardt Went From A Zero-Time DIII Champ To A 3:55 Miler Marquardt, who was a three-time NCAA DIII runner-up at Haverford, has no shoe contract, works a full-time job and just broke 4:00 in the mile for the first time in style – skipping the 3:59s, 58s, 57s and 56s entirely – running 3:55 at the Sir Walter Miler on August 3.

NY Times Shalane Flanagan Will Return To Defend Her NYC Marathon Title Flanagan had considered retiring after winning last year at 36 years old, but has decided to line up at least one more time before she hangs ’em up.
*MB: Shalane Flanagan is Running 2018 NYC Marathon.

You Can’t Say He Isn’t Entertaining: Noah Lyles Believes He Can Run 9.41 Seconds For 100m Lyles also talks about “transcending the sport” and says he’s had a lot of kids come up to him and saying they’ve only heard his rap songs, but not seen him run.

The Guardian: “Why Ethiopia’s Running Success Is About More Than Poverty And Altitude” A UK journalist talks about his training adventures in Ethiopian which included things like 3AM hill repeats and six hour round-trips by bus. A good read, but he is discounting the genetic factor when he says Brits could have similar distance success if they trained like the Ethiopians did.
*MB: Guardian article on Ethiopian Training Philosophy

To see our favorite reads from other weeks, go here.

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Quotes Of The Day And Last Week’s Home Pages

To see the actual quotes of the day from last week or last week’s home page or any home page, go to our archive page.

Got a tip, question or comment? Please call us at 844-LETSRUN (538-7786), email us or post in our forum.


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